BBB of WESTERN MICHIGAN, INC
BBB CONSUMER ALERT/BBB E-LERT
Contact: Ken Vander Meeden
616-774-8236 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mystery Shopper Scam
Hijacks legitimate Company’s information
Info-Tec Research Group
Subsidiary of Autotec
Affiliate of Consumer Survey Specialist
Phone: 514-549-7061 (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Douglas Autotech Corporation
300 Albers Road
Bronson, MI 49028
206 Commerce Ct
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
In September 2011, it came to the BBB's attention that Douglas Autotech Corporation had their company name, address and bank account information stolen by a scam company soliciting consumers to become mystery shoppers.
According to information received at the BBB, consumers receive a letter from Info-Tec Research Group, who lists themselves as a subsidiary of Autotec at the address of the true company, Douglas Autotech Corporation and an affiliate of Consumer Survey Specialist. In the letter, Info-Tec Research Group invites the consumer to become a mystery shopper for companies like Walmart, K-Mart, Home Depot, Sears, Best Buy and JC Penney. The material includes a check from Douglas Autotech Corporation in the amount of $3995.00 and instructs the consumer to deduct $450 for training pay and $100 for shopping, outlines a service charge for Western Union or Moneygram of $290 and instructs the consumer the send the balance of $3155.00 by Western Union or Moneygram back to a training agent at the company. The letter provides a telephone number for an assignment coordinator. The phone number is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The BBB has contacted the company at the phone number provided, but was unable to obtain the company's true location.
The BBB has contacted the true company, Douglas Autotech Corporation in Bronson, MI. The company is aware of the scam and has confirmed that their company's banking information has been stolen and is being used without their knowledge or approval.
In addition, the BBB has learned that Consumer Survey Specialist has conducted similar mystery shopper scams involving other companies in Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH and Sandy, UT.
If you receive a solicitation regarding this issue, please forward the information AND envelope in which it was received to:
BBB of Western Michigan
Attn: Terry Glenn
40 Pearl Street, NW, Suite 354
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
The BBB urges extreme caution anytime a consumer receives an unsolicited check from an unfamiliar company. The check is usually fraudulent or stolen and any monies sent back to the company by the consumer are typically unrecoverable.